How to attract people to the office for collaboration

I solve workforce challenges, and one question keeps popping up: How do we get remote-friendly folks to join us in the office for collaboration, without making it mandatory? It’s a puzzle I’ve spent a lot of time working on with clients and I’ve come up with some strategies that do the trick.

Flexibility is Key

We all have different rhythms and routines, so offering flexible scheduling options is crucial. Let your people choose when they want to come into the office. Let them have choice and take control of their own time.  It’s a scary step to take for some but what you will see is that they will tend to attend when their colleagues are around – they want to collaborate.

Reimagine the Office

The traditional office layout doesn’t cut it anymore. We need spaces that inspire creativity and encourage collaboration. Think designated meeting areas, brainstorming zones, and cozy corners for impromptu chats. I always suggest some sort of food court or food station.

Make it Worth Their While

People need a reason to show up. Host team-building events, workshops and networking sessions that bring people together and spark new ideas. Make the office a place they want to be, not just a place they have to be.  Here at SWR, we invented something called ‘Crumpet Solutions’, where we get together to solve problems over toasted crumpets.  Most of the 60 smart options in our smart working model came from those sessions.

Go Hybrid

Technology is our friend. Use video conferencing tools and interactive tech to bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers. Everyone should feel equally involved and engaged, no matter where they’re working.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Transparency is key. Keep your team in the loop about any changes or initiatives you are planning to the office. And don’t forget to ask for their input—it’s the best way to make sure everyone’s needs are being met.

Lead by Example

Actions speak louder than words. We must lead by example and show support for office collaboration. When employees see that you value face-to-face interactions, they’ll be more inclined to follow suit.

In a nutshell, getting remote-friendly workers to come into the office for collaboration is all about finding the right balance between flexibility and purposeful engagement.

Now what other workforce problems are you facing that we can help you solve?  Contact the Smart Working Revolution